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April 25, 1980


MUSIC: Vivian Freyre Zoakos

Levi Minzi to Give Historic Recital

Carlo Levi Minzi

On Saturday evening, May 3, the young Italian pianist Carlo Levi Minzi will illuminate the compositional method shared by J. S. Bach, W. A. Mozart, and Ludwig van Beethoven by performing three directly related works by those composers which collectively define a unique point of conjuncture in the history of music. The works are the three-voice Ricercare from Bach's Musical Offering, Mozart's Fantasy and Sonata in C Minor, K. 475/457, and Beethoven's Op. 13 Sonata (the "Pathetique"), also in C Minor. The recital is sponsored by the Humanist Academy and will be held at the Borden Auditorium of the Manhattan School of Music. The Mozart work, composed in 1784-85, followed a period of intensive study of the works composed by Bach in the seven years before his death in 1750. These works had just become available to Mozart in 1782. Their impact upon Mozart was immediate and profound. Accepting an intellectual and moral challenge shunned by both Haydn and Handel, the 26-year-old Mozart undertook an exhaustive process of reconceptualizing his entire approach to musical composition. His basic world outlook and philosophical outlook were identical to that of J. S. Bach

from the beginning. There was never any doubt that he would accept the challenge avoided by the relative moral weakling Handel. Now he had the tools he needed to make the crucial experiment embodied in his life's work as a musical scientist fully practical and testable. The C Minor Fantasy and Sonata, K. 475/457, based upon Mozart's study of Bach's 1747 Musical Offering, was the first mature product of this intensive and unprecedented phase of Mozart's work. Beethoven's Advance Fifteen years later, the 28-year-old Beethoven, advantaged by this knowledge of all of Bach's mature works as well as by personal studies with Mozart himself, composed his second Sonata in C Minor, Op. 13, later to be called "The Pathetique" by 19th century romantics. Again Beethoven's Sonata was based upon intensive study of both the Bach and Mozart works in question. In the process of composing his Op. 13, Beethoven made an advance in compositional method which was to lead over the subsequent 15year period to the double fugal approach that characterizes Beethoven's Op. 100 series of works, the works which to this day define the most advanced point of development of the Platonic musical tradition. Bringing Music to America Carlo Levi Minzi, who is known in this country through a recording of two Beethoven sonatas on a Humanist Academy release in late 1978, is the appropriate artist to convey the nature of the profound relationship between the works in question to an audience of laymen. Studies with the late Paul Baumgartner, one of the last pedagogues in the pianoforte tradition established by Beethoven, combined with rigorous technical training in the Soviet Union under Vladimir Natanson, provide Levi Minzi with the capacity to articulate those aspects of Bach's, Mozart's, and Beethoven's counterpoint generally glossed over by even the best of today's well-known performers. Specifically, Levi Minzi's capacity to articulate different voices with different qualities of "touch" simultaneously allows the listener to audibly perceive aspects of the very principle which lends great music its unique quality: the relationship and dialogue between voices in a composition. Educating with Music The May 3 concern and a subsequent Humanist Academy record release that will include some of the same works performed by the Italian pianist, who,

at the age of 26, is a tenured professor of pianoforte at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan, will make accessible to a relatively uneducated audience some of the most advanced features of the collaboration underway between the Humanist Academy and leading musical professionals internationally. The task is to rebuild America's musical system from the ground up, emphasizing work toward uniquely definitive performances of the works of Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart. The Humanist Academy's unique capacity to elaborate the most fundamental aspects of the compositional method of these composers and to teach them to children of elementary school age, is what makes such an effort possible. These efforts in turn are the antidote to attempts on the part of the perennial enemies of the spirit of Beethoven to claim his greatness as their own, attempts epitomized by the obscenity of the April 22 "open air" performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony on New York's Sixth Avenue by the United Nations Chorus and Orchestra in commemoration of "Earth Day" and the fascist cause of "environmentalism."